The Bechamel sauce mentioned in the recipe is made in the usual way for making white sauce. However, you may not know that you can now buy something called ‘sauce flour’ to which you do not need to add any butter. You just mix the flour with the milk and keep whisking until it comes to the boil, then allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. You can also make a white sauce, using butter, the all in one way, by just mixing the butter, flour and milk and again whisking until it comes to the boil and then simmering for a couple of minutes.
- 500g. / 1lb. 2ozs. cod
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 3 slices smoked back bacon
- 50g. / 2ozs. butter
- 50g. / 2ozs. plain flour
- 600mls. / 1 pint milk
- 1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped chives
- 900g. / 2lbs. potatoes, boiled and mashed with butter & milk
- salt & pepper
- Cook and mash the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Cut the cod into chunks and put in the bottom of a deepish ovenproof dish. Season.
- Trim the fennel, and cut into quarters vertically. Cook the fennel in boiling water until just cooked and add to the fish. Snip the bacon into fine strips and fry until browned in a small pan, drain and add to the dish.
- Pour in the béchamel sauce, into which you have stirred the fresh herbs.
- Cover with mashed potato, furrow the surface with a fork, dot with butter and cook for 35 – 40 minutes until browned and bubbling.